Ms. Lingerie Goddess

Some of you may recall my thoughts about the Parisian lingerie scene, and you may remember that I observed that Parisian women seem to universally embrace the matching set on a daily basis. I was skeptical.  I didn’t want to admit that these ladies knew something that I didn’t.  However, since then, I’ve decided to give in to peer pressure, and I resolved to try to blend in with the locals.

This is not as easy as you would think.  Here are the obstacles that I foresaw:

  • Affordable lingerie is NOT easy to find in Paris.
  • I have never owned a matching set in my life.  I understand the idea, I understand the appeal, but I’ve always been pragmatic, and it would take a monumental effort to force myself to give in to a little lacy frivolity.
  • It’s winter, and trying on lingerie would necessitate removing all kinds of layers each time.  Highly inconvenient.
  • The chances that any given parisian man would have the opportunity to see and appreciate my scanty underthings?  Answer: slim to none.

But I recently had an a crystallizing moment that changed the whole way that I approached the concept of underwear.

This moment changed my life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Kate Moss in Agent Provocateur : How can you NOT feel sexy in stuff like this?

I was on my way to the bank when I passed by a shop window that displayed an impressive selection of lacy and satiny underwear.  It was a tiny place, but it exuded a certain old Hollywood glamour.  The furniture was lux, there were huge, gilded mirrors scattered around the one-room shop, and there were flimsy underthings and overthings draped over everything — seemingly haphazardly, yet actually strategically.

I was in a saucy mood that day, so I said to myself, “Why not?”

When I walked in, the salesgirl asked me what I was looking for.  I replied that I was in search of more adventurous and sexier sets in saucy colors.

She looked me up and down.

I froze in terror, expecting her to assess me as a fat non-parisian cow and hand me something eight sizes too big.

But, surprise!  She pegged me straightaway as a 90A and medium on the bottom.  She went on to say, “Don’t worry, I have exactly what you’re looking for.”

She then pulled all  sorts of fantastical things from the racks and hustled me off to the fitting area, which consisted of little more than a corner, a transparent lacy curtain, and an antique mirror.

She insisted that I try everything on, including whatever accoutrements that came with each set.  Lacy fingerless gloves!  Sky-high heels!  Garters!  She was fascinated by my body, commenting on the curvature of my butt and insisting that it should only be clothed in thongs and g-strings in order to show it off to its best advantage.  (Incidentally, she also taught me to avoid balconet bras.)  She made me strut around the entire shop (wearing almost nothing, mind you!) so that I could “get the full effect” in the larger antique mirrors that she had placed around the shop floor.

Christies. I dare any woman to try on stuff like this and not to feel like a salacious goddess.

Let me tell you, dear readers, that I felt TRANSFORMED.  Gone was the awkward nerdy chick, the goddess of man-shopping disaster.

Enter the sex pot.  The slinky, lacy, satiny and barely-clad queen of awesome.  I really was wearing nothing except a few bits of strategically placed, slightly pigmented air.  But these exquisite luxury sets made me feel like something else.

Even my normally insecure, self-conscious self had no problem sashaying around this shop — wearing next to nothing — in full view of anyone who passed by the shop window!

So now I understand.  I understand why parisian women always wear matching sets.




It’s really too bad that I couldn’t afford to spend 400 euros on lingerie.

That would have been my total for only TWO sets.

On sale.

Le sigh.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I learned quite a bit of new vocabulary on this lingerie adventure, for those of you who are curious.  This may prove useful for some, as Valentine’s Day is coming up!

  • balconnet : balconet bra
  • bas [m.] : stockings
  • body [m.] : bodysuit
  • bonnet [m.] : cup
  • bretelles [f.] : straps
  • bustier [m.] : bustier
  • corbeille : underwire bra
  • culotte [f.] : panties/knickers (handy wikipedia chart)
  • déshabillé [m.] : negligee
  • guêpière [f.] : bustier with attached garters
  • jarretière [f.] : garter
  • nuisette [m.] : baby doll
  • peignoir [m.] : peignoir, dressing gown, robe
  • porte-jarretelles [m.] : garter belt
  • push-up : push-up bra
  • sans bretelles : strapless bra
  • shorty [m.]: boyshort
  • slip [m.] : briefs
  • soutien-gorge [m.] : bra
  • string [m.] : thong
  • tanga [m.] : g-string



Filed under Misses

16 responses to “Ms. Lingerie Goddess

  1. Tell me, please, that your “it. is. glorious” line was a quote from the awesome stoner-movie “Mortal Kombat.”



  2. TheIdiotSpeaketh

    My wife is gonna wonder why my newfound French vocab all involves lingerie….. 🙂

    • You can say that it’s all part of your cultural education! I usually cite “cultural education” as the reason for most of the shenanigans that I get up to here. My mother is starting to become very skeptical every time I bandy that term about…

  3. Hahah, love it! Yay for experiences that make you feel brilliant about yourself! 🙂

  4. Zoë Blue

    Sexy. Now you’re making me consider a visit to my local lingerie place. The only thing is, I’m not a fan of padded bras, which means I can NEVER shop at Victoria’s Secret. Ugh.

    Also, I dislike black and like primary colors. Which means I can never shop at any lingerie store. It’s cosplay all the way for me, I’m afraid.

    Also: I think I (accidentally) wore my first matching set when I was 23 years old. I may have worn it one more time since.

    • Ah yes, VS doesn’t really have much in the way of unpadded bras. I’m sure that there are specialty shops that have a good variety where, as they say here, tu peux trouver ton bonheur! There are so many colors and models out there that could tickle your fancy.

  5. Yay! See – isn’t lingerie FUN???

    I wish I could afford matching sets for every day, but alas! I would enjoy wearing them, but in reality? You only need a set or two. I really really really wanted to buy buy buy lingerie while in France, too – but I was on a bud-get.

    Sounds like a FAB experience! Wish I coulda joined!

    • Oh, it was so much fun, like an instant injection of self-esteem. Even on a budget, I’ve found that it actually IS possible to find oodles of affordable matching sets. Even though I couldn’t find anything affordable at this shop in the story, I didn’t give up and am now the proud owner of SIX new matching sets!

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  7. OOH SEXY! lol, too bad it was too expensive, but I would have died if the saleswoman told me to walk around lol. Good for you doll!!!

  8. lcdtvking

    Hahah, love it looking for same Style & cheap lingerie for…

  9. Pingback: Ms. Russian Red | Man-shopping in Paris

  10. Even a more elaborate bra than usual has that effect on me! It’s amazing. A few years ago I got lingerie for all my friends for Christmas- they loved it. Since I didn’t get myself that Christmas gift, I’m thinking it would make a great valentine’s present?? I want a déshabillé.

  11. I think this post is absolutely brilliant! I am a model portfolio photographer and the amount of girls who never wear sexy underwear is a lot. When we get them in the studio in sexy lingerie they quite often say that they have never felt so sexy and they will make a point of buying more sexy lingerie!

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